Jazz Jennings turned a dream she had since age 2 into a reality this past June.
The I Am Jazz star, who was born male but identifies as female, reflected on her gender confirmation surgery during an interview with ABC News that was filmed nine weeks after the life-changing operation which she called “the final step of transitioning.”
“It was like a dream. It was,” Jennings, 18, told Nightline‘s Juju Chang in the sit-down that aired on Monday. “This is a moment that I had always envisioned and just experiencing it was so surreal. I was like I can’t believe this is happening.”
Jennings also recalled a specific conversation she had with her mother. “When I was 2 years old, I went up to my mom and asked her, ‘When is the good fairy going to come with her magic wand and change my penis into a vagina?’” she said.
The TLC star also revealed the gender confirmation surgery is “the final step of transitioning” after years of taking hormone blockers and hormone therapy.
“I’ve gone through the whole medical process, and this is really the last thing that will validate my identity as a woman,” Jennings said. “There is nothing else after this. I just get to be myself, be in the body that I’ve always wanted. And then I can live my life as just Jazz.”
While she describes the surgery as a dream, the reality star revealed that she did suffer a complication and had to endure a second procedure.
“There was just an unfortunate event and setback where things did come apart, and there was a complication,” Jennings recalled. “I had to come back in for another procedure, but it was just all part of the journey. The good thing though is that it was only cosmetic and external so it wasn’t too dramatic.”
The teenager previously confirmed in a YouTube video titled “Preparing For Gender Confirmation Surgery” that her surgery took place on June 26. “I’ve been ready for this my entire life,” she shared.
Jennings told Nightline that one of the biggest challenges she faced was when her doctor requested that she lose 30 pounds before the surgery.
“That was really, really challenging because I had an addiction to food. And it was something that gave me comfort. And I had to let that go because the surgery is so much more important to me than any slice of cake or pizza,” she said.
When I Am Jazz season 5 returns to TLC on January 1, 2019, fans will watch Jennings experience some major milestones in her life including her first prom, her 18th birthday and the final steps of her transition.
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